Shawnee Trustee Candidates Running Together


LIMA – The race to become administrator of the Township of Shawnee is now underway. Two contenders, photographer Michael Ayers and former Lima City Council chairman Keith Cunningham, both pitched their names in the race on Friday afternoon, but with a twist. Both have officially deposited the necessary documents to lead a joint campaign.

The two have filed a petition with the Allen County Electoral Board to campaign together. With two directorships coming up for Shawnee Township, the duo hope to win one each.

The two felt the need to run together instead of competing against each other due to their similar skills and hopes for Shawnee Township.

“Michael and I are good friends and have similar visions for the Township, so there is no reason for us to compete with each other,” said Cunningham. “We have therefore chosen to advance the campaign jointly.

Although they are running a joint campaign, their names will appear separately on the ballot, requiring voters to fill out each of their bubbles individually on election day.

Ayers and Cunningham are both longtime residents of Shawnee Township, having worked and raised their families in the area. In addition to being a past chairman of the city council, Cunningham has also served as the director of the Allen County Board of Elections.

“We both love this community, we both love the township. Shawnee has been good to us, ”Ayers said. “We love people, we love schools, we love churches, business, industry, and we want to see it take off.”

The candidates share the feeling that leadership within the township needs to improve to make Shawnee a better place.

“We have a program of ideas and reflections to move the township forward in a way that makes it a better place to live and work in the future,” Ayers said. “There is a certain degree of dissatisfaction with the current administration of the township, and we believe that more should and could be done. This is why we are here.

Michael Ayers (left) and Keith Cunningham (right) at the Allen County Election Board on Friday to file documents for the 2021 election.

Ayers and Cunningham petition to lead a collaborative campaign


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